What’s On Cover – Meet Mr. Personality

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It was quite the thrill to walk into work at the Tropicana, and see myself, along with Murray and Chloe, on the cover of What’s On Magazine. The photos they selected for the cover and inside article were from two photo shoots that we had at the Neon Boneyard. The article focuses on Murray not only be a magician, but on his personality and his long career on reality TV.

Meet Mr. Personality

By What’s On Staff on July 7, 2014

With a shock of blinding, blond hair, an electric blue suit and iconic, black-frame Armani glasses, magician Murray Sawchuck is hard to miss. Known as the “celebrity magician,” you can see him this summer on ABC’s “WipeOut,” National Geographic’s “Brain Games,” CW’s “Masters of Illusion,” and SyFy’s “Wizard Wars” in addition to his role as resident Magic Expert on History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.” Inside Tropicana’s Laugh Factory, it’s Sawchuck’s 1,000-watt personality that’s the driving force behind his intimate magic and comedy production—which also features his sidekick Lefty and his lovely assistant Chloe.

What’s On: You’re known as the “celebrity magician” and you’ve been on “Pawn Stars” and all over TV. How did you get the moniker?
Murray Sawchuck: Originally, when I was just getting into the Vegas market I had all of these awards behind me and I was titled a world-champion magician, but I wasn’t known as well as reality stars on TV. That’s when I changed my thinking to, “What do I need to do to be on TV?” So, now I’ve been on more than a dozen TV shows. …I like to do the big tricks on TV and then when people are in Vegas with me, they get to see a more intimate side and a personality side of me.

WO: What’s the trick that got away, that you’ve just never been able to work out on stage?
S: I wanted to do a production with live sharks in a tank. I wanted to be chained up in a tank, upside-down and when I vanished I’d appear in the back of the audience, soaking wet and then, when the tank was dropped, you’d see the live sharks swimming in the tank. I had a really hard time trying to figure out how to make the sharks appear in the actual tank properly. Because, don’t forget, all of this happens in 10 seconds. It’s one of those projects I’m still working on to this day.

WO: With audiences often desensitized to the extreme or wondrous because of TV, what do you think it is about magic that keeps people coming back?
S: I think people come back to magic the same way people go to the movies. …[W]e want to be taken out of the real world. Life’s tough. We’ve got debt. We’ve got relationship issues. People live and people die. That’s the reason we still go to live shows.

That’s the reason we still go to magic shows.

…When we’re kids, we love that [make-believe] world—we watch cartoons and play in our yards and some time in our teens, we lose it. But I think magic, whether you’re nine or 109, lets you go back and believe in the impossible again.

Murray: Celebrity Magician | Sun.-Thur., 4 p.m. (dark Fri.-Sat.); beginning July 13, added 7 p.m. show thru Labor Day | From $34.95 | Tropicana | 702-739-2222


Douglas has worked on many shows up and down the Las Vegas strip. He has worn many different hats, from being a creative director, lighting designer, set designer, and production / technical director having worked with Wayne Newton, Frank Marino, Human Nature, and Recycled Percussion to name a few.